Many students suffer from anxiety when they have to prepare for and write
tests and exams. Some get nervous because they are ill-prepared, while
others get bogged down in stress regardless of how well-prepared they
may be. When students are anxious, they are unhappy and their stress can
negatively impact their ability to prepare for a test and their performance
on the day. You can help your students to overcome their exam anxiety
for a happier, healthier learning experience.
Symptoms of test anxiety
Anxiety may be accompanied by physical symptoms like head and stomach aches,
nausea, fatigue, sleeplessness, loss of appetite and vomiting. There can
emotional symptoms too like irritability, anger and fear. When students
have to operate under this kind of duress for extended periods, they lose focus.
Anxiety can inhibit their ability to concentrate and affect their memory.
Higher cognitive functioning also suffers, making it harder for them to
solve problems and comprehend complex data. Anxiety also impacts their
ability to sleep and reduces appetite. Not getting enough rest or healthy
nutrition affects memory and overall academic performance.
Start from the very beginning by setting realistic academic goals for your
students. Help them to get organized by scheduling sufficient study time
to prepare adequately for upcoming exams. Don’t do all the organization
for them, rather teach them how to record all their upcoming papers and
tests and how to organize their time.
Ascertain whether their anxiety stems from a genuine feeling of being overwhelmed.
Are they struggling with a subject? If they just aren’t coping,
help them to catch up and keep up by getting them an in-home tutor. One-on-one
tutors can discover the missing building blocks in your student’s
knowledge and skill set and can remedy this so that your student has a
solid academic foundation to build on.
Tutors are also able to teach study skills and time management while showing
your student how to organize information in a way that suits their learning
style. They can help them to build confidence and provide the skills your
student needs to work independently.
A positive attitude and confidence are two of the most vital arrows in
your student’s academic quiver. If they have an inner dialogue that
says they are dumb, just can’t do it or that they are bad at math
or science, then that has to change.
Help them to recognize these negative thought patterns and to catch themselves
when they fall into bad attitude traps. When they have a negative thought,
they need to stop, take a deep breath and replace it with a positive one.
You can help by focusing on positive reinforcement when they are on the
Sweet dreams and healthy meals
Getting enough sleep is essential to a stellar academic performance. Ensure
that your student doesn’t stay up too late studying, limit sugar
intake and make sure they get enough sleep.
While most students like to live on sugar and junk food while they hit
the books, opt for healthy, nutritious meals. The brain only takes up
2% of your body mass, but it uses 20% of the energy. So give your rocket
the right fuel to function.